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Seeking BBQ Research Assistants!

A barbecue plate from TRU Colotexmex Bar-B-Que


My next book will be on African American barbecue culture, and it’s going to be NEXT LEVEL.

In order for that to happen, I’ll need to eat my way through the country as I once did to research soul food. I know, it’s a heavy burden to bear.

During my soul food research, I often wound up eating alone which limited the amount of food that I could sample. Plus, I always had a ton of leftovers because, despite what you may think, I don’t eat everything in my pictures.

This time around, I want to identify people who would be willing to join me for barbecue safaris to select areas, all for the sake of, um, research.

In order to organize this, I’m going to create Facebook groups centered around trips to specific places. It’s probably easier if you already live in that area, but anyone who’s willing to travel can join the party. I just want to coordinate schedules, carpooling, etc. I’ll also seek your input on what places to visit.

Here’s the list of places I’m visiting:

Florida (Jacksonville, Tampa Bay)
Kansas City
Lexington/Louisville, Kentucky
Memphis (and MS Delta)
Los Angeles
Oakland/San Francisco
North Carolina
South Carolina
St. Louis

Based on feedback that I’ve received so far, I’m thinking about this additional places:

Dallas/Ft. Worth


  • I’ve already researched that city pretty hard.
  • I’m unsure that city has enough good, African American-run bbq joints to warrant a visit. I’m definitely open to persuasion!

So, if you’d like to join me on this journey, just indicate where you’d like to eat some bbq with me. If you write “anywhere” or “everywhere,” I’ll include you in every group. Feel free to add other cities, but there needs to be at least 4 good places in order to justify a trip. Food trucks count.


  • You’ll have to spend a lot of time with me, so think that over.
  • My research is centered on African American barbecue restaurants. So, we won’t explore the entire barbecue scene of a city.
  • We’ll probably hit 2 places for lunch and 2 places for dinner each day.
  • We’ll order large amounts and sample. I really want to taste everything that a place has to offer.
  • I wish that I could give you the hook-up, but I can’t. So travel and research expenses will be on your own dime.
  • I will try to give you as much advance notice as possible, but some trips may be impromptu.

If you join us, you will have my gratitude, and you will certainly get a shout out in my book.

The easiest way to join a team and get the latest updates is to like my Soul Food Scholar Facebook fan page and join the teams that I’ve created.

I hope that you’ll join in the fun! It would be so much fun to be on this journey together.


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